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When high prices close in, it's time to hunker down

Dear Shirley, I just picked up two apples at the supermarket for $1.49 and a half gallon of 1 percent milk for $2.12. Gas is out of sight. They talk about $4 by Memorial Day. I suppose you are feeling the pinch down there in Tucson just as we are...

Dear Shirley,

I just picked up two apples at the supermarket for $1.49 and a half gallon of 1 percent milk for $2.12. Gas is out of sight. They talk about $4 by Memorial Day. I suppose you are feeling the pinch down there in Tucson just as we are in Grand Forks. The other day, a woman I know asked her college- and high school-aged sons, "What are we going to do about it?" And one of her sons said resolutely, "Hunker down."

Some of our young people have never heard of hunkering down, but I believe they can and will do it. We'll all be walking more and driving less. We will cut out the frills. Summer vacation for some people around here might mean a trip to Turtle River State Park instead of Washington.

Nothing's wrong with that, Shirley. Saving money can be kind of a game. Clip coupons. Shop around for bargains. Make do with what you have. I already told you I saved $1 last week by buying 100 Forever postage stamps to mail my Christmas cards out next December. And I bought some 26-cent postcards for sending short notes. They are what we used to call the penny postcard.

We will know things are really bad when J.C. Penney quits having sales every week.


I don't know if they call this a recession, Shirley. The economists don't seem to agree. But life goes on.

I heard from Patty Purpur recently after mentioning her accomplishments in shot put and discus in high school. And what do you know? She has just acquired a track uniform from Chris Douthit at Red River High School and will be wearing it when what she calls "has-beens" will be featured on a show picked up by Fox Sports. Her first appearance in this Reality TV Trial Meet is Saturday and Sunday at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

On the professional front, Patty runs a company called TimeOut Services, which manages corporate fitness centers and community based programs. When she left Grand Forks to go to Stanford University in 1985, she was the top-rated female shot and discus thrower in the country. She was a nine-time All American and seventh in the USA in shot put in 1988. Patty has two children and has been single for the past eight years.

In Grand Forks, we keep track of our people. We are small enough to do that and big enough to have a variety of things going on. Right now, you would think everyone was Norwegian. They are gearing up for Syttende mai on Saturday. That's the day that commemorates the adoption of the Constitution, or Grundlov, by Norway in 1814.

The Sons of Norway Gyda Varden Lodge members are making smorbrod, rommegrot, lefse, sotsuppe, riskem, blotkake and flatbrod and serving lunch and afternoon coffee Saturday. Over in Bagley, Minn., they are holding another Syttende mai celebration. They say that's because the one last year was such a success. More than 100 volunteers will be involved.

We would be outsiders, since we are Danish, but the Norwegians are OK, Shirley. They go around saying, "Uff da."

You might not find any rommegrot and sotsuppe out there in the Southwest desert country.

Love from your sister Marilyn, watching the Norwegians wipe their hands on their aprons in the Red River Valley.


P.S. North Dakota didn't have the largest number of Norwegian-born residents when they were counted in the national census in 1950. But in ratio to the state's total population, we had the greatest percentage of Norskies.

Reach Hagerty at (701) 772-1055 or send e-mail to mhagerty@gra.midco.net .

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